Falling In Love With A Complete Stranger

I met my future husband Murray at Perfection Frocks, a dress house specializing in cotton day-dresses located off of Broadway, down 34th Street in New York City’s garment center. I worked there as a designer and showroom model, modeling their small-sized dresses. It was one of my first jobs upon arriving in this country from Scotland, and I was intent on finding someone who would be willing to sponsor my sister Mona into the States.

Finding none of my co-workers willing to help me, one of the cutters in the production department suggested, “Go ask him,” pointing to a complete stranger on the opposite side of the room.

He had obviously come here to do some business. One of the first things I noticed was his camelhair coat. I could tell from a glance that he was a well-dressed man, something that was important to me. I tapped him on the back. He turned toward me, and said, “What can I do for you, kid?” It was then I noticed his blue eyes and kind face.

We agreed to go to dinner that evening. He took me to a restaurant he knew just around the corner. We both had pot roast, and hit it off right then and there. He agreed to sponsor my sister into the country, gave me a kiss goodnight, and the rest is history.


by Merle Deutsch

My Grandmother’s Babka and The Days Leading Up to & After D-Day

My Grandmother’s Babka

The smell of cinnamon wound
its way all the way down
the stairwell of her building.
that smell of buttered
sugar and spices rising in dough
still reminds me of her.

by Merle

The Days Leading Up To & After D-Day

My mother befriended many of the American GIs who were stationed in Londonderry, Ireland before D-Day. She treated them like they were part of the family, serving them whatever rations of steak and meat we were allowed. They, in turn, would bring us chocolate.

I remember one soldier named Marty who enjoyed watching me comb my hair and put on my make-up. It reminded him, he said, of his wife back home.

I remember a walk my mother and I took along the Derry walls surrounding the city after all the soldiers had mysteriously been shipped out. Without them, the city seemed empty and eerily silent. We felt sad, so sad. The GIs had made a big difference in our lives.

We were to learn soon after they had all been sent to fight in D-Day. Many would lose their lives on the shores of Normandy, never to return.